Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has outlined far bigger costs and financing needs, saying his country needs $7 billion per month to make up for economic losses caused by Russia's assault.

Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, causing heavy damages in bombardments from north to south, before focusing on taking control of the eastern Donbass region.
Russia attacked Ukraine on February 24, causing heavy damages in bombardments from north to south, before focusing on taking control of the eastern Donbass region. (AP)

Physical damage to Ukraine's buildings and infrastructure from Russia's military offensive has reached roughly $60 billion and will rise further as the conflict continues, World Bank President David Malpass has said.

Malpass told a World Bank conference on Ukraine's financial assistance needs that the early estimate of "narrow" damage costs does not include the growing economic costs of the crisis.

"Of course the war is still ongoing, so those costs are rising," Malpass said on Thursday.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, in a virtual address to the conference, outlined far bigger costs and financing needs.

He told participants in interpreted remarks that Ukraine needs $7 billion per month to make up for economic losses caused by Russia's assault.

"And we will need hundreds of billions of dollars to rebuild all this later," Zelenskyy said.

He said the global community needed to exclude Russia immediately from international financial institutions, including the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and others.

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'Enormous costs'

The conference on the sidelines of the IMF and World Bank spring meetings included finance officials from a number of countries, including US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

Yellen earlier said the United States would double its direct non-military aid pledge to $1 billion.

Zelenskyy called for countries that have imposed sanctions and freezes on Russian assets to use that money to help rebuild Ukraine after the fighting and to pay for losses suffered by other countries.

At a news conference, Yellen said Russia should shoulder some of Ukraine's rebuilding costs that are "going to be enormous".

But she cautioned that using seized Russian central bank reserves in the US to rebuild Ukraine would be a "significant step" that would need discussions and agreement with international partners.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, who attended the conference in person, said Ukraine's GDP could decline by 30 percent to 50 percent, with direct and indirect losses totalling $560 billion so far.

That total is more than three times the size of Ukraine's economy, at $155.5 billion in 2020, according to World Bank data.

"If we do not stop this war together, the losses will increase dramatically," Shmyhal said, adding that Ukraine would need a rebuilding plan similar to the post-World War Two Marshall Plan that helped to rebuild a war-ravaged Europe.

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Source: Reuters